On the afternoon of 7 July 2022, the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court denied temporary release on bail to Bung and Bai Por for the sixth time since their bail was revoked on 3 May 2022. They are facing prosecution of violation of Article 112, Article 116, and several other measures of the Criminal Code for peacefully carrying out an opinion poll on royal motor cases on 8 February 2022 at Siam Paragon shopping mall.
This petition for bail was made by Bung’s older sister following the precipitous decline of her younger sister’s health as the hunger strike of the pair continues. Testimony from two witnesses, a nurse and correctional officer at the Central Women’s Correctional Institution, was decisive for the court.
It should be noted that the correctional officer characterized the dramatic physical effects of the hunger strike of both, now approaching forty days, as simply appearing skinny, as if they had lost a lot of weight. The correctional officer testified that Bung and Bai Por were still living their lives normally and were lively and cheerful. The Southern Bangkok Criminal Court used this as justification to deny the bail request.
The translation of the full order denying bail on 7 July 2022 as follow;
The petition, including testimony and documentary evidence, has been examined. The petitioner, Miss Chayaphat, the older sister of Defendant No. 3, testified that when she visited Defendants No. 2 and No. 3 on 4 and 5 July 2022, they were skinny and without energy. A prison official helped hold up Defendant No. 2, who tried to communicate but was unable to do so fully. Defendant No. 3 was trembling and unable to hold the internal telephone on her own in order to converse with her. She was without energy and said that she had abdominal pain that radiated to the right side of her back. Her rib cage and diaphragm hurt every time she breathes in. Sometimes she passes out. The officials had to take her for treatment at the Corrections Hospital. Miss Wilasinee, who is a registered nurse and civil servant at the Central Women’s Correctional Institution, Department of Corrections, testified that on 27 June 2022, while carrying out her tasks as the nurse on duty, she was informed that Defendant No. 3 had abdominal pain. She therefore came to see her and asked about her symptoms. She saw that Defendant No. 3 was sicker than she, as a nurse, was able to treat her and so she sent her to the Corrections Hospital to be treated by the physician there. Her blood was taken, she was given saline, her urine was collected, her abdomen was x-rayed, and she was given pain medication. She was ordered to have no liquids or food by mouth in order to observe her condition and to be given antibiotics. Subsequently, on 1 July 2022, Miss Wilasinee learned that Defendant No. 3 had been released from the Corrections Hospital and returned to the Central Women’s Correctional Institution. On 3 July 2022, she came on duty and examined Defendant No. 3 as she was aware that she was on hunger strike. The preliminary examination indicated that her heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation levels were normal. Defendant No. 3 was slightly physically weak but not to the degree that she was bedridden. Her voice was normal and she could communicate normally. She could respond and understand. If any of the inmates in the Central Women’s Correctional Institution are unwell, they will be taken care of in line with the standards of the Ministry of Public Health. Miss Wachirawan, who is a training and occupational officer and civil servant at the Central Women’s Correctional Institution, Department of Corrections, has the duty to supervise inmates. In response to a question that the court granted the petitioner’s lawyer permission to ask, she testified that she was aware that on 27 June 2022, Defendant No. 3 was sent for inpatient treatment at the Corrections Hospital and that she returned to the Central Women’s Correctional Institution on 1 July 2022 after completing treatment. But the witness did not know why Defendant No. 3 was unwell. The witness had just met with Defendants No. 2 and No. 3 on 6 July 2022 and found that they were still carrying out their lives normally. They walked around normally. They were lively and cheerful. Their bodies were skinny like they had lost weight. She was aware that on 10 March 2022, the inquiry officials submitted a petition to detain Defendants No. 2 and No. 3. Defendants No. 2 and No. 3 submitted a petition for temporary release and the court had an order granting temporary release on the same day. The court set the conditions for temporary release that they were forbidden from engaging in any activities or actions that might cause damage to the reputation of the institution of the monarchy; forbidden to make posts on social media that agitate, instigate or incite anyone to join activities or demonstrations that would create disorder in the country; forbidden to travel outside the country without permission from the court; and wear an electronic monitoring (EM) device. Defendants No. 2 and No. 3 knew of the aforementioned conditions of temporary release. But only 3 days after the court issued the order granting permission for their temporary release, the inquiry officials submitted a petition to revoke the order. Defendants No. 2 and No. 3 engaged in the same kind of action which had led the inquiry officials to bring the [original] accusation and submit a petition for their detention. This was a violation of the conditions that the court placed on their temporary release. The court therefore held hearing on the [inquiry officials’] petition to revoke the temporary release of Defendants No. 2 and No. 3 and ordered it revoked. Thus, upon examining the petition brought requesting the temporary release of Defendants No. 2 and No. 3, the facts do not indicate that if Defendants No. 2 and No. 3 are again granted temporary release, they will be able to conduct themselves in line in any way with the conditions placed by the court. There is cause to believe that Defendants No. 2 and No. 3 may again engage in action(s) that constitute violation of the prohibitions placed by the court. The petitioner claimed that the health of Defendants No. 2 and No. 3 has declined to the degree that their lives may be endangered and the level of potassium in their blood is so low that it may cause a heart attack. The information from Miss Wachirawan’s verbal testimony is that when she met with Defendants No. 2 and No. 3 on 6 July 2022, they were still living life normally, walking around normally, and were lively and cheerful. Their physical condition is that they are skinny, as if they have lost a lot of weight only. The facts in this arena therefore do not substantiate that the health of Defendants No. 2 and No. 3 has declined to the degree that their lives may be endangered as claimed. Regarding the petitioner’s claim that Defendant No. 3 has a tumor in her uterus according to Document Ro. 2, which is a summary of the transfer and treatment history from Ramathibodi Hospital from over 2 years prior to this incident, the document stipulates that the patient can be treated further at her hospital, which refers to the Corrections Hospital. The Corrections Hospital has physicians who can care for and treat inmates who are unwell, including Defendant No. 3, who informed Ramathibodi Hospital in order to send a summary of the transfer and treatment history. In this instance, there are no new circumstances to cause a change in the original order. The petition is dismissed.
Mr. Santi Chukitsapphaisan